setting the TABLE
Bring a small plate and knife to each guest for the cheese course. A place setting for a five-course meal—appetizer, soup, entrée, cheese course and dessert (horizontal utensils)—could look like photo above. At dinner, start from the outside working your way in for each course. After each course, the used utensils get removed, along with the finished plate.
Start with a charger plate (if using) at each place, which can be removed before the first course or can stay in place if it complements your dinnerware (but gets removed with the dinner plate). Chargers are useful for protecting your table and tablecloth from spilled food. Any plates or bowls on top of the charger plates should be removed before the first course and plated in the kitchen. Put bread plates above the forks, with butter spreaders placed diagonally.
Water goblets (filled before dinner starts) go above the knife. Wine glasses go to the right of that. If you don’t have enough glasses, remove each guest’s glass and rinse between white and red wines.
If serving a fish course, and if you have fish knives and forks, add them to the place setting in the order you’re serving the fish. If you don’t have fish knives and forks, set an extra knife and fork for fish. If you’re short on flatware, quickly wash utensils between courses.